Monthly Archives: June 2015

Website Enhancements

June 22, 2015

Today the website was updated to add a search utility to the Journal as well as a subscribe feature.  Enter you email address and you will ensure you never miss the next instalment in my saga to build a energy efficient and sustainable house.

Both of these new features are accessed through the top right side of the Project Journal page.

Many thanks to HoneyComb Creative for their continued excellent work in supporting theEnclosure.ca !

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I’m Floored!

June 22, 2015

Despite being one armed for the last 4 weeks, I have been able to progress the build enough to start laying down the floor deck and placed the first 4 sheets today!

Since your last visit the following tasks were completed:

  • finished framing the basement bearing walls (Ted came by one day and helped with the majority of the East wall)
  • installed the truss hangers on the east and west walls
  • Hired Byron from Embers for a day to help move down the Roxul ComfortBoardIS from the driveway to the cold room below the garage (from here it can be walked out the basement walkout door and around the foundation base for installation)
  • Finished framing door headers in basement bearing walls
  • Cut up beam stock into individual beams required for basement level
  • Un-Stacked floor truss bundles with tractor
  • Hired Rob and Koffi from Embers for a short day to place all beams and to stockpile the truss packs in key locations across the wall plates near their final deployment spots
  • Repacked remaining floor trusses for second floor so waterproof and level.
  • Laid out BT1 and BT8 truss bundles, cut BT1 to length and secured at required spacing.
  • Placed first 4 sheets of deck
Ted and I fabricating one of the east bearing wall segments.

Ted and I fabricating one of the east bearing wall segments.  I had miss-measured this one and made it a foot too tall, so I am in the process of popping off the top cap and cutting it down.

Yes that is yours trully carrying down a 50Lb bundle of ROXUL 3" ComfortBoardIS

Yes that is yours truly carrying down a 50Lb bundle of ROXUL 3″ ComfortBoardIS with 1 arm in a sling. I ended up moving about 40% of the pile while Bryon did the other 60%

Un-stacking Floor Truss shipment with Alfie

Un-stacking Floor Truss shipment with Alfie

Beams roughly in pace and trusses stacked in bundles on top plates

Beams roughly in pace and trusses stacked in bundles on top plates

BT1 was too long for space (trusses sold in 2ft increments). The upright squash block has to sit right over bearing

BT1 was too long for space (trusses sold in 2ft increments). The upright squash block has to sit right over bearing

Nothing that a skill saw and reciprocating saw could not make fast work of. The TriForce Floor Trusses are webbed at one end to allow up to 24" trim. This makes the product very adaptable while stilling giving the benefits of an open truss for the rest of the length).

Nothing that a skill saw and reciprocating saw could not make fast work of. The TriForce Floor Trusses are webbed at one end to allow up to 24″ trim. This makes the product very adaptable while stilling giving the benefits of an open truss for the rest of the length.

Truss Bundles BT1 & BT8 are spaced and secure and decking started. Still have that darned sling (starting to get really smelly now)

Truss Bundles BT1 & BT8 are spaced and secure and decking started. Still have that darned sling (starting to get really smelly now)

I am using 3/4″ Tongue & Grove Plywood that I am gluing and screwing.  The engineer only specified 5/8″, but 3/4″ is best practice to reduce deflection and vibration in the floor. To speed up installation and to save my back, I bought the Simpson Strong-Tie Quick Drive.  Boy is this a sweet tool to have! I will be able to use for drywall and wall sheathing as well.

STaging area for main shipment is complete. Very Pleased with progress. Starting to look like a house.

Staging area for main shipment is complete. Very Pleased with progress. Starting to look like a house.

The 4 sheets allowed me to create a staging area where I can have the next 35 sheets delivered right to the deck to save a mountain of labour of me trying to move from driveway down scaffold to deck.

Most truss manufacturers (roof or floor) ALWAYS recomend reinforcing a staging area before the delivery of the material, as the loads imposed can easily exceed the intended loads of the trusses.

Most truss manufacturers (roof or floor) ALWAYS recommend reinforcing a staging area before the delivery of the material, as the concentrated loads imposed by the delivered materials can easily exceed the intended loads of the trusses.

Someone asked how the beam pocket repair turned out.

Back side of pocket

Back side of pocket

Perfectly formed beam pocket repair. Strong and true.

Perfectly formed beam pocket repair. Strong and true.

As I am working off a computer for the vast majority of my construction, I fabricated this simple clip on portable desk that attached to any flat 2×4 on the scaffold.

Portable laptop desk

Portable laptop desk

quick construction of 2x4's, 2x8's and plywood

quick construction of 2×4’s, 2×8’s and plywood

I had originally hopped to have the floor on by now, but considering the circumstances (and the heat), I am satisfied with the progress.  The floor should be complete by the end of the week and then we can turn our attention to prepping for back-fill.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”  and  “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”   —Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Statesman, Prime Minister, Author, Nobel Prize Winner

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a (darn) fool about it.” W. C. Fields

“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” — Helen Keller (1880-1968) Author, Lecturer, Activist

“I believe success is achieved by ordinary people with extraordinary determination.”
—Zig Ziglar (born 1926) Motivational Author, Speaker

With that I bid you goodnight and Thanks for visiting!

 

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Not all that it is cracked up to be!

June 11, 2015

I had my three week check up with the surgeon at the cast clinic today and got quite a shock.  Part of the procedure was to get a new XRay and this time I was able to see the results.  What I had previously understood was only a hair line fracture was actually the complete fracture off of about 20-30% of my humeral head.

I took this quick screen shot of my XRay results while at the Lions Gate Hospital Cast clinic today.

I took this quick screen shot of my XRay results while at the Lions Gate Hospital Cast clinic today.

The official terminology is ‘Non-Displaced Greater Tuberosity Fracture‘. This is an extremely key part of the arm mechanics where the supraspinatus and infraspinatus rotator cuff muscles attach.

I am now feeling extremely grateful that this was not much much worse and requiring surgery!  It looks like I probably ‘reset’ the fracture when I crashed to the ground meaning it was in a non-displaced location right from the beginning.

With the muscles that are attached, there is a high risk of displacing after the fracture if you are not careful and I am very lucky I have not had a displacement considering the activities I have been doing since the fall.  I will need to be a LOT more careful going forward and always wear the sling and ensuring I do not try to raise my upper arm at all!

I have booked physio with Jay Inouye at Bloom Family Wellness (where I also see Karen and more recently Sommer for my massage therapy) starting after my 6 week milestone.  Jay is apparently legendary in the sport injury field so I am sure he will be able to get me ship shape in short order.

Fortunately, I have been FAIRLY careful this week when at the job site, but my activities on Wednesday probably pushed the envelope (even more than framing a wall did).  Ted came by and together we took turns using a bushing bit and angle grinder to knock down some high spots in the last two internal footings.  I had about 2ft on both that was too high.  On the one, we took off from a skim coat to about 1/4″ and on the last one we took off up to 1.25″ .  The last footing was weird, it was like the entire form work had floated up at one end.  It happens to be where we started the footing pour, but I am not sure that had anything to do with it.  After the footings were level we went for a lumber run and called it a day.  I was generally using only one hand for most activities but did steady both tools with my left.  Add in the vibration of the tools and this was probably not a smart move that fortunately I got away with.

Today was a on the road day visiting a good friend for breakfast at Tour de Feast.  This is a new spot I recently found on the North Shore and the food is DELISH!!!  We both had the Cassoulet.  It was pure awesomeness!

I spent the rest of the day on the road attending the surgeon follow up, buying more construction supplies, and trying to solve a network error I have at the job site.  My wireless access point/LAN bridge has decided to be as flaky as a lard filled pie crust.  SO until I have this solved, the sites web-cams will be sporadic.  I will try to come up with a solution tomorrow.

I will try to CAREFULLY push through and finish off the final bearing wall in the basement over the next few days and then can start laying out and attaching the hangers for all of the floor trusses.  I will then hire a guy to move the insulation off the driveway and into the ‘hole’ and move some more gravel.  Once that is complete, I need to put the rubber tracks on Alfie and un-stack the floor truss pack before hiring a couple of guys to spend a day placing the floor trusses and composite beams for the first storey floor assembly.  I will then have Standard Building Supply deliver some plywood right to the deck and by the end of next week, I hope to have the floor in place.

Thanks for visiting.

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Framing has commenced!!!

June 9, 2015

Well, against all odds, I framed a wall today! I know, not very impressive really – but I did it with only one working arm.

I built a quick table to assist in framing the walls.  This allowed me to lay the lumber on the table so I did not have to hold anything while I nailed it together.

I built a quick table to assist in framing the walls. This allowed me to lay the lumber on the table so I did not have to hold anything while I nailed it together.

One Arm Framing - Who knew!

One Arm Framing – Who knew!

In order to get the larger wall in place, I quickly framed some horizontal bracing that allowed me to slide the wall off the table and along teh bracing until it could be rotated down to the concrete curb.

In order to get the larger wall in place, I quickly framed some horizontal bracing that allowed me to slide the wall off the table and along the bracing until it could be rotated down to the concrete curb.

The air barrier starts at the bottom plates.  I have used a draft seal caulk between the foam gastet and the wood and then the gasket and the concrete curb.  I want the wood shop to be air tight to block sound transmition and paint fumes from entering the rest of the house.

The air barrier starts at the bottom plates. I have used a draft seal caulk between the foam gasket and the wood and then the gasket and the concrete curb. I want the wood shop to be air tight to block sound transmission and paint fumes from entering the rest of the house.

Today’s activities were preceded by the precise measurement of the foundation walls and top curb on Saturday and Monday. Although I did achieve really accurate elevations of the foundation and my walls are also all straight, they were not perfectly plumb.  The ICF brick was also a bit challenging to line up at the corners and as a result, I did not get dims that completely agreed with the drawings.  I also misplaced one of the internal forms a few inches.

All in all, this meant a pretty sizable update to the AutoCAD model to ensure its accuracy so that I can continue measuring off it for all framing activities.  With the slight movement of bearing points, I needed to make sure all of the point loads were still supported or could be moved the 1/2′ – 2″ needed based on the actual poured foundation.  I am about half way through the model updates but got enough done to allow for today’s framing.

On Thursday I also repaired one of the beam pockets that failed to get concrete under it due to the pockets proximity to some reinforcement.

Concrete was chipped out from behind/above void

Concrete was chipped out from behind/above void

Plywood pocket inserted prior to pouring in non-shrinking grout.

Plywood pocket inserted prior to pouring in non-shrinking grout.

Back side covered with plywood panel to allow grout level to build up above the repair.  Final patch above plywood done with stiffer mix one liquid grout setup a bit.

Back side covered with plywood panel to allow grout level to build up above the repair. Final patch above plywood done with stiffer mix one liquid grout setup a bit.

I also met with Graham Finch from RDH and Jason Teetaert from SMT.  We have come up with an awesome sub-slab insulation testing lab that will test EPS, XPS, and ROXUL for compression over time, resistance to wetting up, and testing for reduced R-Value if it does wet up.  I will post the plan once I have finished drawing it up.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” —Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Statesman, Prime Minister, Author, Nobel Prize Winner

Thanks for visiting.

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One Armed Bandit

June 4, 2015

Yesterday was the first day back to the site since my shoulder injury 2 weeks ago today.  I was pushed to be productive by Ted who came by to lend a hand (or two).

The next task was to level out one of the internal footings that had settled before the pour, so Ted graciously agreed to go with me and pick up some sacks of non-shrinking grout and bring them down into the pit for me.

While it was not a long day in terms of hours, we were able to form up and pour the cap on the footing (varied between a skim coat and 3/8″), and by the end of the day I was done.  Not being at all active and in constant pain for 2 weeks can really take the stuffing out of you.

Today I will meet with Graham from RDH and Jason from SMT to discuss the various building science labs I will be including in this dwelling.  In addition to the above grade building science lab, I also have incorporated 2 different labs into the foundation, and will now also be doing a lab within the floor slab showing the rates of deflection for various sub-slab insulation strategies.

Over the next few days I will gradually transition to framing the basement.  I have figured out a way to allow me to frame the walls with the one arm and will reserve hiring labour for the bigger task of placing the floor trusses and plywood sheathing.

Even with only one arm, I am still able to mix mud like no one's business.

Even with only one arm, I am still able to mix mud like no one’s business.

This should all be an interesting ride.

I am comforted knowing that when I am away from site, Blackberry has my back and is performing regular patrols.  Notice he disappears of the left side of screen and then reappears on the right side a minute or so later.  He has navigated the entire perimeter of the foundation top curb!

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” —Mary Anne Radmacher

Thanks for visiting.

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